We were thrilled to induct a new class into the Morgan Park Academy Hall of Fame on September 21, 2019: retired teacher Susan Oczkowski and retired board members and alumni parents Imre Boarden, Dr. Hugo and Linda Cuadros, and Jeffrey Gilbert.
Their contributions to our school over many decades have been tremendous!
Boarden has been a bedrock of the MPA community for the past 25 years, both with the Mothers Club and the Board of Trustees, from which she retired this summer.
When she and her husband, Bill, first enrolled their oldest child, Boarden jumped in with both feet as an active community member. She has served in almost every conceivable capacity at the Academy from room parent to Mother’s Club Treasurer to Capital Campaign Chair to Trustee.
And like most of this year’s inductees, Boarden’s commitment to the Academy did not stop when her youngest child graduated. Her three children were all alumni in 2014 when our Board Chair invited her to rejoin the Board of Trustees — and she was glad to again be a servant leader for our school.
For all of Boarden’s many contributions to the Academy, none are more important than her role as champion of our mission and values.
DR. HUGO AND LINDA CUADROS
Among our most generous supporters for four decades, through two generations of the Cuadros family at MPA, they have been active members of the MPA community through both their children and now their grandchildren attending our school.
Dr. Hugo Cuadros served for many years on the Board of Trustees, while Linda was Mothers’ Club president, chaired our Salute to Excellence gala event, and has been a dedicated volunteer for our museum and archives. And of course, they are among our staunchest supporters of the annual MPA golf outing.
Their service consists not solely of their time, talent, and treasures, but a contagious, enthusiastic spirit for MPA. It is the commitment and dedication shown by families like the Cuadros Family that make our school the place it is today.
Gilbert was an MPA trustee from 11 years, including three as Board President. He and his wife, Malinda Steele, were heavily involved from the time their daughters enrolled here — both of them were active parent volunteers and they co-chaired Salute to Excellence for several years.
Going above and beyond, though, is the work and service that Gilbert has provided to the Academy even after retiring from the Board. As a veteran attorney and partner at his law firm, he has been an invaluable sounding board for school leadership on legal matters.
His commitment to MPA has been both tangible and timely. While also being one of the Academy’s most generous donors, he has a heart for the Academy that continues to impact our community.
Coach Oczkowski retired last school year after 44 years at Morgan Park Academy, bringing to a close a teaching career that touched the lives of generations of children and helped instill in them the value of lifelong physical fitness.
Oczkowski was a foundational piece of our physical education program and a “teacher’s teacher” who would do anything to help a child or a colleague. Her tireless work toward teaching and modeling the importance of fitness and keeping active was a key part of our whole-child education for decades.
When Coach O said she’ll take care of it, you always knew it would get taken care of, with careful planning, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail that put students, families, and colleagues first.
Integrity, fairness, and consistency with students were hallmarks of her teaching approach. More than anything, she modeled for students the importance of doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
HALL OF FAME MEMBERS
A. Richard Ayers ’36
Dr. Larry G. Brown
Donald C. Carner ’35
Dr. Hugo and Linda Cuadros
Jean Doyle ’79
Richard L. Duchossois ’40
Saul A. Epton ’27
Elaine Darre Gillies
Vicki S. Hovanessian
David A. Jones
Leora S. Jones
Louis J. Kole ’48
Donna J. Kosinski
H. Irwin Martin ’40
Michael D. McClure ’60
Fred H. Montgomery ’64
Raymond N. Regan ’56
Kenneth H. Saul ’42
Roy M. Schoenbrod ’36
Capt. Jean Landon Taylor
Winnie M. Theodore
Jerome A. Thrall ’44
John C. Torrez
James G. Tuthill ’48